National

Real NCP Row: EC Approves New Name 'Nationalist Congress Party- Sharadchandra Pawar'

The Election Commission greenlights the rebranding of Sharad Pawar's faction within the Nationalist Congress Party, officially renaming it 'Nationalist Congress Party Sharadchandra Pawar' following the recent power shift within the party.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar
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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has settled the ongoing naming dispute within the Sharad Pawar faction. The faction, led by Sharad Pawar, will now be recognized as the Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra on February 27. This decision was made on Wednesday after the ECI accepted the first name from the three suggestions submitted by the faction.

The three names proposed by the faction, in order of preference, were “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar,” “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadrao Pawar,” and “NCP -- Sharad Pawar,” according to Hindustan Times. This resolution comes after a prolonged conflict between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit, who aligned with the BJP and Shiv Sena in 2023.

However, the ECI's decision arrived very close to the scheduled Rajya Sabha elections, prompting a unique arrangement. The rules require lawmakers to display their ballot papers to the party's authorized agent before casting their votes. Due to the tight timeline, the ECI made a special provision to accommodate this requirement.

The ECI order stated, "The special circumstances trigger a peculiarity as to whom the MLAs of the faction led by Respondent (Sharad Pawar) would show their votes." In response to this, the ECI invoked its power to allow a one-time option for the faction to claim a new name for its political formation. This decision facilitates the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra, where the faction will compete for six seats.

On the other hand, Ajit Pawar's faction has filed a caveat petition in the Supreme Court to ensure they have an opportunity to present their case before any final decision is made regarding the Election Commission's declaration.

Ajit Pawar had previously aligned with the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra by walking away with a majority of NCP MLAs in July last year.

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